Richland Young Professionals hosting 2nd annual casino night Feb. 24
Richland Young Professionals hosting 2nd annual casino night Feb. 24

MANSFIELD — Richland Young Professionals co-chair Jordon Wurthmann wanted to host a unique event that Mansfielders couldn’t find anywhere else.

This would be to raise money for his organization, and in lieu of the routine banquet or golf outing. 

In February 2020, RYP hosted “Pawhibition” at the Ohio State Reformatory, a casino-themed fundraiser that supported the Humane Society of Richland County. Wurthmann said Pawhibition raised $36,000, half of which was donated to the Humane Society.

“We used that as our main fundraiser for the year for RYP, but we don’t need to do that anymore,” Wurthmann said. “This year, I think our goal is to re-establish ourselves as the best event-throwers in Richland County.”

This year’s casino night is “00K-9,” a James Bond-themed fundraiser for the Mansfield Police Department K-9 Unit. RYP co-chair Bethany Cuthbertson said the goal is to raise $20,000 to fund two new police dogs for MPD.

Cuthbertson said she ordered catering for 350 people, the number which RYP is expecting to cap for the event. General admission and VIP tickets are still on sale through Eventbrite or at 3rd Cup of Tea in Mansfield. Ticket sales will end Wednesday at midnight.

The evening will include appetizers, a cash bar and free drinks for VIP and “Whale” ticket holders. Attendees aren’t able to gamble with real money, but are provided with Mechanics Bank play bills at the door.

RYP has partnered with Cleveland-based Jackpot Games to bring games and dealers for blackjack, poker, roulette and craps.

Wurthmann said RYP considered hiring volunteer dealers from within the organization, but wanted to make sure the casino night was as authentic as possible.

“The dealers are good at what they do, and they know it’s for a fundraiser so they let people play and win,” he said. “It’s very rare that you run out of fake money unless you come in and put all of it on one bet.”

RYP will have a prize wheel that costs $20 a spin for people to win more play money.

Each ticket tier gets different levels of gambling money. General admission $50 tickets include heavy hors d'oeuvres, $50,000 in fake money and a cash bar.

VIP $75 tickets include the same appetizers, $75,000 in fake money and access to the VIP lounge with a private gaming table, as well as free champagne and wine.

The “Whale” package, which has already sold out, was $2,000 for a group of eight people. RYP sold three packages, which include a limo ride to and from the Reformatory, a private dinner, unlimited gambling money and unlimited drinks.

Cuthbertson said all 24 Whale package members will also have a private host with bottle service for the night.

“This whole night is about raising money, but also giving you an experience,” she said. “There’s always ways to give in Richland County, but we want to make sure we’re giving people a good time too, hopefully they’ll walk away thinking they can’t wait for next year.”

All guests are encouraged to dress according to a James Bond theme. Event planners and volunteers will also be dressed in theme, but will wear white flowers to distinguish themselves.

The 00K-9 Casino Night will also include a DJ, live auction and silent auction. The live auction will be with play money, while the silent auction will use real cash. Players are welcome to pool their play money together.

Casino night begins Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 10 p.m. Reformatory doors will open at 6 p.m.

While RYP membership is limited to those ages 18 to 40, events are open to anyone. Anyone interested can follow RYP on , attend an event or fill out an interest form online to be added to the email list.

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